Two exciting new platform features launched for TRACE Community!

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TRACE’s journey of evolution is continuing – and we have launched two brand new, paid-for premium features designed to deliver even more functionality to our community of users!

Learn more about them below:


Many users already love TRACE’s simple, yet stylish design, and our branding function will help you seamlessly integrate your chosen brand colours across all platform pages.

  • Boost your brand storytelling with data sets from pie charts to line graphs in your brand colourways – ideal for use in post-event reports, organisational presentations, press releases and much more
  • Ensure continuity and consistency across your brand interfaces
  • Set yourself apart from the competition and reinforce your brand’s identity as a sustainability leader through your tailored version of the platform

Watch our new features in action here via our September Lunch and Learn recording.


Advancing the cause of event decarbonisation is a collective effect. Our teams function helps effectively apply this approach to your event carbon measurement and management by allowing you to create designated teams within the platform. 

  • Emphasise sharing over working in silos by dividing responsibility for data gathering, input, and analysis for your events portfolio across your organisation
  • Empower individuals to lead on event carbon measurement by designating them as team admins
  • Enables teams globally to work together effectively on measurement projects
  • Data privacy: ensure your event organiser contractors only view the information that is relevant to their work
  • Compare performance between teams using the Combined Events dashboard. This data-driven insight can help you identify strengths and areas for improvement, enabling you to refine your sustainability strategy effectively

Malcolm Leach, CTO, isla, said: “At isla we listen to our clients and deliver the features they request to support them in their sustainability journey. These features also help our mission for TRACE to be a truly transformative tool supporting the event industry’s move to a net-zero future.”

Ready to learn more?

Book a TRACE Demo: These are just 45 mins, virtual and run bi-weekly and offer a great overview of the platform as a whole, with an opportunity for a Q&A at the end.

Book a 1-2-1 call: To explore TRACE licence and premium-feature pricing packages, contact our Business Development Director Dom Bemrose at

Event badges: how to reduce single-use waste.

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According to our own research 2.14kg of waste is pridcued per attendee per event, this is just under the amount generated by the average UK household per day. The source of this waste likely comes from a variety of sources, including catering, production and often small print items. Even when there is separate recycling on-site, the onward life of these items is in the hands of delegates and thus even though there is recycling on-site it’s up to the delegate’s own conscience if they use it and some items may inadvertently be taken home and end up in general waste.

Therefore coming up with alternative solutions to the waste generated from items where you have less oversight or control of onward life is an important step in the reduction of waste from single-use items such as name badges, maps, leaflets and programmes. 

Looking specifically at name badges, there are a variety of approaches to lessen the impact of waste here. 


Utilise an in-event app to share important information with delegates This has the benefit of being editable for any last-minute programme changes and can also be used for networking. Or for a more traditional lanyard-style name badge, consider using a solution such as Blendology for paperless networking. 

In May 2023 at isla’s flagship event transform at Kew Gardens we saved 1.86kg* of paper by using Blendology OneTap badges instead of printed name badges for 124 delegates. 

“It was great to see the way the Blendology badges encouraged networking and interaction. I loved ‘bumping badges’ with current and new connections and the fact that contact information was transferred automatically, no need for the clunkiness of pen and paper or exchanging not-so-planet friendly paper business cards. A follow-up email from Blendology also made it really easy to access your contacts list post-event. Innovations like Blendology are a sign of the really exciting things to come in the events industry of tomorrow,” Miriam Habtesellasie, MarComms Lead, isla


Consider the material that the name badges are made from and replace the single-use plastic pouch with a durable, recyclable paper option that will still last for multi-day events. This is particularly important considering the upcoming introduction of the single-use plastics ban in England this October. Are there also other ways or creative solutions to the single-use nature of name badges? Perhaps chalkboard badges or wipe clean ensuring that they are reused across different events. 

Also, consider the material of the lanyard. Can you source bamboo or recycled PET for example in order to move away from non-biodegradable materials, such as nylon, with higher environmental impact?


If you’re unable to make physical changes to your name badges, can you consider how to make sure that their onward life is what you intended? Badge recycling points at all of the exits to events can help give you this control and be a prompt to delegates to drop them off before leaving and you to ensure that they are properly separated and recycled, perhaps investing in staff to ensure that delegates hand over their badges before leaving. You may also want to consider designing lanyards or plastic pouches without sponsorship details or event dates so that they can be reused time and again, or at least until an event rebrands. 

How will your delegates network at your next event? 

*Figures from Blendology

This or That: Bag or Bottled Wine

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Moving away from the traditional wine bottle to a more sustainable alternative.

Wine should come in a glass bottle, right? Actually, wrong if wine drinkers want to do their bit for the planet’s resources and environment.” Jancis Robertson (OBE, ComMA, MW)

Drinking and serving wine is a practice steeped in tradition, from treading the grapes barefoot to popping the cork. As such, the quality of the wine and the drinking experience is heavily rooted in the perception of the bottle. The labels having an art movement of their own, in both the natural wine world filled with artists and designers. Or wine from more traditional winemakers where so much history and culture are held in the bottle and it’s the label. 

It’s natural that when the wine comes without any of those aspects of ceremony and art, a stigma is attached to it. The idea that it’s an inferior product. We can see this clearly in the perception of wine with a screw-top. Where we jump to the conclusion that the liquid inside isn’t as high quality or made with the same environmental and sustainability considerations.

The wine bottle is the biggest environmental impact area of the wine industry. Generating large amounts of glass to be recycled and adding shipping weight to the transportation of the wine. Moving away from the glass bottle then has the potential to contribute to both financial savings and reductions to the carbon footprint of a glass of wine.

“Current estimates put the transportation of glass packaging at anywhere between 80% and 90% of the emissions costs of the wine industry”

What are the alternatives?

There are many alternatives to the glass bottle, including cans, bag in box or keg. And a growing body of importers who are innovating alongside winemakers to bring these to market. Who are utilising and exploring more sustainable methods of serving and celebrating their wine. Meaning that the bag-in-box wine, or maybe you know it as goon wine, is no longer reserved for house parties and festivals. It can be utilised to reduce waste and emissions associated with the drinks industry.

I spoke to Roman at Modal Wines who are importers of wine from independent winemakers with a genuine passion for their craft, regardless of location or style. Modal Wine showcase wine that is always made with the highest respect for nature; from the vineyards to the cellars. They were recently at the Vessel wine fair in London, where wine in alternative packaging was in the spotlight. We caught up about some of the benefits of, and response to, diversifying their portfolio into alternative packaging.

Why are you moving away from the traditional wine bottle? 

We have felt for a long time that wine that is consumed in the year or so following its release does not need to come in glass packaging.  Current estimates put the transportation of glass packaging at anywhere between 80% and 90% of the emissions costs of the wine industry. So it’s very clear that this is the area where we as an industry have the most room for improvement in terms of our environmental impact.  We are finally reaching a point where consumers are shifting their views on packaging, and putting a higher value on environmental concerns, so the timing feels right to make a change. 

Is there a price difference between the wines?

The actual liquid costs the same whether it goes in glass, box, can, or keg – it’s the same wine after all.  Packaging costs vary, with some alternatives being less expensive and some working out around the same once all is said and done, but the main reason a consumer sees a price difference is because of lower shipping costs.  Since more wine can fit in less space and add less weight to a shipping load in alternative packaging, you can get a higher quality wine at a lower price.  It’s one of the few instances where lowering environmental costs actually lowers the price you pay!  

How popular are your bag in box/alternatives? 

We started with Bag in Box wines from our producer Valdibella a couple of years ago, and were frankly overwhelmed with the response.  This made it clear to us that people were ready for higher quality wines in alternative formats, and set us on the road to grow the range and seek out other packaging alternatives.  We have recently launched Pet Nat in cans (which actually finish their fermentation in can!) from Celler Entre Vinyes, and they have been off to a great start as well.  We are just starting to receive our first wines in keykeg.  As these are tried-and-true favourites from our range we are excited to see how they fare in their new format. 

Ultimately, we are lucky to work with growers that produce delicious wines and customers who are open-minded to trying alternative formats, so we are optimistic that this is just the beginning of the journey. 

How will you be serving wine at your next event?

isla launches industry-defining temperature check report

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isla has recently released its first industry report, combining insights from TRACE, and the wider membership community. 

The report – a temperature check 2022-2023an exploration of sustainable progress in the UK event industry – is the first of its kind globally, and reflects isla’s mission to support the events industry transition to Net Zero. 

Download the temperature check report today.

This report helps the industry make sense of where event emissions come from and highlights how the industry can harness rich data to support businesses. This is essential knowledge to thrive in a changing climate and an evolving regulatory landscape. 

Intent on providing action-focused insights and guidance to align the industry on tackling event decarbonisation, this temperature check considers where we are now and where we need to be. 

Key areas in the report include:

  • Trends in event carbon emissions from TRACE 
  • Practical actions the events industry can take today, to ensure a brighter tomorrow
  • Why the concepts of climate literacy and carbon instinct are key to business transformation against the backdrop of the climate crisis
  • How organisations can reframe key challenges on the path to event decarbonisation as opportunities and the rewards these can present to businesses
  • How the events industry can work together to harness the power of collaborative advantage

The report also exemplifies the best of TRACE in action with case studies from across the sector, including leading event agencies Amplify, Momentum and The Creative Engagement Group.

isla CEO & Founder Anna Abdelnoor said: “The climate crisis is happening now, and action to address it must continue at pace. The industry has been crying out for the insight and guidance it needs to take meaningful action to address climate change. Achieving Net Zero faces a myriad of challenges ranging from a lack of coherent policy to perceived barriers to moving from ‘business as usual’ to businesses fit for the future. This report will act as a beacon for the industry.”

Download the temperature check report today.

A Case Study: Green Space: Dark Skies Shining the Spotlight on Outdoor Event Sustainability

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Leading outdoor arts organisations Walk the Plank, were at the helm of Green Space, Dark Skies, one of ten projects commissioned as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK a ground-breaking UK-wide celebration of creativity in 2022, designed to celebrate science, technology, engineering, the arts and maths.

Walk the Plank had four core sustainability targets for the event – which saw thousands of people, from all paths in life, to experience beautiful landscapes across the UK at dusk, between April and September 2022 – which were as follows:

  • 100% renewable energy usage
  • Zero-waste policy on resource usage
  • Limit disposable and single-use plastics
  • Follow the waste hierarchy

In the informative video below, Rebecca Whitman, a freelance consultant and the event’s Sustainability Manager tells TRACE Customer Success Manager Kate Kieran, how the organisation utilised TRACE to help meet the above and also put them on the path to win the Best Sustainability award at the National Outdoor Events Association in the same year.

Download the full Green Space: Dark Skies Sustainability Impact report here.

This video has been extracted from the TRACE monthly lunch & learn series. This is a free, monthly virtual event exclusively for TRACE users, which brings stakeholders from the events ecosystem together to answer common platform questions, update them on new data-driven platform features and gives them the opportunity to share successes and stumbling blocks on the path to event decarbonisation.

This or That: The Decision Dilemma

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Biodiesel (BD) or Diesel

Is Biodiesel a viable alternative to diesel for the events industry?

In the first of a new series, this or that, TRACE Customer Success Officer Emily Shephard explores the pros and cons of the decisions and switches we can make in the planning process of events. This month we look at biodiesel vs diesel. 

Energy is one of the biggest and unavoidable impact areas for event emissions that organisers have little to no control over due to the responsibility often sitting with the venue. However, for events where generators are being used, we are presented with the unique opportunity to make a choice regarding the source of the fuel used. Giving the chance to take responsibility and choose a more sustainable option. 

Biodiesel (BD) can be a viable alternative here to make significant reductions in our carbon footprint as well as having the potential to reduce the negative impact of diesel across other environmental areas, such as waste water and air and noise pollution. 

What is it?

Biodiesel is a greenhouse gas-reducing, advanced biofuel that is an excellent alternative for diesel users, from driving a car to powering ride-on lawnmowers. It’s manufactured domestically from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant grease. Biodiesel is accessible across the UK from national suppliers and as pure biodiesel is able to be used in the majority of generators, no major technical upgrades  are required to ensure compatibility. Just a change in your procurement procedures. 


The events industry uses 380 million litres of diesel a year, (UK Events and Diesel Use: Responding to a public health emergency) releasing 1.3million tonnes CO2e. if all of this was switched to a biodiesel alternative then there is a potential reduction of approximately 3000 tCO2e per day. This is the equivalent of keeping a 652 cars on the road for a year, for each day for the events industries diesel usage. You can test out different scenarios in TRACE to see the difference in your footprint if you were to make the switch for your next event.   


Cost is always a driving factor when budgets are tight. Traditionally biodiesel has been the more expensive option but that gap is closing quickly as people search for alternatives to fossil fuels, a market which has become increasingly volatile, and  the technology for alternatives advances. Wholesale prices for biodiesel have dropped from 187.99 pence per litre (ppl) in August 2022 to 75.97ppl in April 2023 with traditional diesel at 54.69ppl (RAC Foundation). A significant increase in affordability means that BD is now more economically viable, and should, theoretically, be easier to pitch to clients as part of the spend on a sustainable event. 


Given that biodiesel is made from organic materials, the resulting fuel is, as the name would suggest, biodegradable. The biodegradability, how much something breaks down, of biodiesel is 98% after 28 days compared to 50% for diesel. Significantly reducing the long-term environmental impact of oil spills and leaks.

Beyond just looking at emissions as a measure of impact, biodiesel use can also lead to reduced particulate matter in the atmosphere, therefore helping to reduce levels of air pollution. This is due to the higher oxygen content of biodiesel. Higher levels of particulate matter are dangerous for health, with the two most important categories measured being PM10, where particles are less than 10 micrometres in diameter and PM2.5 where particles are less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter (National Statistics). Approximately half of the particulate matter in the atmosphere comes from human sources and so identifying ways to reduce the concentration, such as switching to biodiesel is an important piece of the puzzle in improving air quality.  

Biodiesel production also leads to reduced wastewater with comparisons showing a five times reduction for the lifecycle analysis of biodiesel compared to diesel, the percentage of this wastewater also contains significantly lower hazardous material (U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Energy, 1998). 


A strong correlation exists between the characteristics of particular fuels and the amount of engine noise and vibrations they emit (Tüccar, 2018). Biodiesel performs well in these areas, with lower scores compared with traditional diesel scores, leading to a quieter engine. A particularly useful consideration for quieter outdoor events and a chance to demonstrate that you’re thinking not only of the impact of the energy use but the clients’ experience too. Keeping noise levels in check, whether indoors or outdoors, is also key to maintaining positive relationships with the communities surrounding your event.

Should you make the switch?

The case for the switch to biodiesel is compelling, with environmental risk and emission reductions significant. Though widespread adoption will still take time, with not all venues being set up to make the changes to the suppliers that they use. And the wider issue of lacking the infrastructure to process the amount of organic material required to meet energy requirements. So whilst there are many benefits, the key to reducing your event’s energy emissions is to consider ways in which you can reduce the amount of energy you need, from updating equipment to improve efficiency to training the team to be vigilant in energy-saving measures. Reducing the amount of energy alongside considering the source of the energy will also make it much easier to make switches to more sustainable.

Virtual events and the climate crisis: the go-to solution?

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The pandemic demonstrated the global virtual event industry’s impressive ability to flex and evolve in response to an unprecedented period of change. It’s small wonder then that virtual events are no longer viewed as the poorer second cousin to live events, and now form an integral part of any successful marketing strategy.

But beyond the obvious benefits to business ranging from lower operating costs to data capture, virtual events also offer the chance for organisations to play their part in tackling the climate crisis. A recent study described transitioning from in-person to virtual events as an ‘effective climate mitigation strategy’, offering substantial decreases in both event carbon footprint (94%) and energy use (90%).

For organisations increasingly using ESG frameworks as the basis of their decision making, the above figures are hard to ignore.

While it would be easy to then conclude that virtual events don’t need the same level of scrutiny on environmental impact as in-person events, the journey towards net zero demands continuous improvement across all event formats.

Research has shown that over 60% of carbon emissions from larger virtual conferences can be attributed to network data transfers (e.g. downloading data from video calls). And yes this can be offset by adopting carbon-friendly habits such as switching from HD to SD and turning off cameras (reducing carbon footprint by 96%), according to the same study, but at what cost to the virtual-event experience?

Among the drawbacks to virtual events cited by respondents to a recent global survey of event organisers and attendees is the fact they feel: less personal (55%) and materials presented are more difficult to engage with (22%). Both of these may be harmed rather than helped by the above carbon-reduction strategies. In addition, without strong engagement high-level conferences are unlikely to inspire the behaviour change so critical to mobilising climate action.

The good news is that increasingly sophisticated virtual event platforms have risen up to meet some of these challenges. They are working hard to capture and keep the attention of audiences as well as fostering connection utilising everything from gamification for the former to one-to-one networking for the latter.

But it’s clear that there is no one-size-fits-all event format, and depending on event objectives hybrid – such as the forthcoming COP28 – or in-person may still offer a better fit.

So how to reconcile a larger carbon footprint if you do opt for, say, a hybrid event? As well as using tools such as TRACE to help you measure and minimise event carbon emissions, whatever your chosen event format, there are a long list of options to explore to boost your event’s sustainability credentials. 

Read: 6 ways to reduce your event’s carbon footprint

Ultimately, solutions to the climate crisis call for creative thinking, and this is something the events industry has in spades.

A Case Study: Putting the Green in the BBC Green Planet Experience

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isla members and London-based immersive entertainment and storytelling studio Factory 42 were at the helm of production for The Green Planet AR Experience, inspired by the BBC TV series and powered by EE 5G.

Winning the Green Event category at the inaugural Campaign Ad Net Zero Awards in 2022 in recognition of their work. This seminal event really exemplified how to sustainability and great storytelling can come together to create a positive impact for both people and planet.

Anna Abdelnoor, CEO and Founder of isla, said: “The team at isla were proud to support our members Factory 42 in delivering sustainability at every stage of this seminal event. The results, and the team’s award win, speak for themselves and we look forward to seeing how we can collaborate on future events.”

In the download and keep case study below you’ll learn how isla tools TRACE and proseed, as well as support from the isla team, helped Factory 42 deliver ambitious sustainability targets across production, waste (where just 4% was sent to landfill!), supply chains and much more.

Ready to be inspired? Download the The BBC Green Planet AR Experience Case Study.

The TRACE Supplier Feature: Top 3 Benefits

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TRACE by isla – the definitive carbon measurement platform for sustainable events – has launched a new, easy-to-use feature that will enable suppliers to directly input data relevant to their vertical into the tool.

Here are the top 3 benefits:

Supports supplier engagement

‘Manage Suppliers’ will enable TRACE users to prompt key stakeholders in the event supply chain to input data across key measurement areas, including Energy and Built Items. Supplier engagement is increasingly important as the events industry continues to drive change through collaboration.

Builds an accurate picture of your Scope 3 emissions

The unique-to-industry feature helps TRACE users build up an accurate picture of their Scope 3 emissions – derived from the aforementioned chain and making up more than 70%* of total company emissions on average.

Streamlines data-gathering

“This innovative feature will support supplier insight into event data-collection best practice and empowers them to play an active role in TRACE users’ data-quality progression,” says TRACE Customer Success Manager Kate Kieran.


Do suppliers need to have a TRACE licence to input data?

No. It’s open to all your suppliers. A downloadable spreadsheet template is also available for suppliers to download data for their particular vertical if they prefer to record/send you information this way.

Will I be able to have the final say on any submitted supplier data?

Once suppliers have marked their data as ‘ready to review’ you can check and approve, before it is pulled through to the dashboard.

How do I tell suppliers about the feature?

You can invite suppliers to input data from within the platform (this will send a pre-set invitation email to your chosen contact), which includes a due date, and follow this up with a friendly reminder, which you can again issue through the platform if needed.

The supplier feature is part of our continuous improvement programme for the TRACE platform. Want to see it in action? Sign up for a completely FREE demo.


Getting started: How to define your event carbon measurement objectives

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Starting your event carbon measurement journey? Read on to find out how to define your measurement parameters.

Measurement. It’s something that’s already embedded into many areas of business operations, and is a crucial proof point to demonstrate how businesses are faring against key operational KPIs.

From figures on revenue and profit to market penetration, measurement markers (that’s the numbers to you and me) help tell the story of business’s continued evolution.

Data on carbon emissions is no exception. And as brands, event agencies and venues strive to meet their ESG goals, no sustainability picture would be complete without demonstrating the environmental impact of our events.

So, where to start and what to measure?

Tap into existing sustainability policies

A great place to start when defining your measurement objectives is to look at existing sustainability policies and/or net-zero strategies. Businesses of all sizes will often already have done the hard work of digesting their sustainability ambitions into a series of concrete targets that align with broader corporate policies.

Rather than reinventing the wheel, use the above as a jumping off point for your measurement objectives. If a transition to renewable energy is a key focus for your business, then this can be translated into a focus on measuring and minimising energy output during live events, utilising alternative energy sources wherever possible.

Understand what you can control and what you can influence

Event carbon measurement data runs across the full set of emissions Scopes. Scope 1 emissions are those you have direct responsibility over (e.g. fuel you burn directly such as diesel in company cars), while Scope 2 emissions are where you have some control by indirect responsibility (e.g. energy your company purchases, such as electricity). Scope 3 emissions are indirect emissions that arise as a consequence of activities that take place within your value chain (which is centred around your suppliers). The latter is often where the highest amount of emissions lay, including for events. And while Scopes 1 and 2 are within your control, it’s likely you can only influence your Scope 3 emissions.

The good news is that there are a number of ways to do this: from including suppliers in event kick-off meetings and outlining the part they can play in gathering emissions data to providing informal training/workshops to share data-gathering best practice.

And with increased engagement from your value chain, an increase in the volume and quality of Scope 3 data should naturally follow.

Keep ambitions big, but understand that your initial steps may be small

While it can be tempting to want to measure everything within the key measurement areas ranging from food & drink to production materials in detail and with complete accuracy, it’s ok to acknowledge that you may not have the infrastructure (people, time etc) in place to do so right away. Instead why not shift focus onto gathering data on your biggest areas of environmental impact within the key measurement areas? So, as an example, if you’re looking at production materials, and are using large amounts of newly purchased carpet to decorate a venue space, this will have a larger impact on your event carbon footprint, than say, cable ties used to keep event banners and more in place.

Understand how you will collect data and clearly communicate that

The mechanics of data gathering and input are almost as valuable as the final data insights themselves. Putting a solid system in place, that can be replicated event after event, is crucial so that measurement doesn’t feel like an insurmountable task that no one in the business wants to tackle.

If you don’t have a Sustainability Lead in place, why not nominate a person/s within the business who can take overall responsibility for crunching the necessary numbers? They can use an Excel spreadsheet or similar to start collecting data. And while not ideal, estimations can be used, in areas where complete figures aren’t available, and can still offer you a gauge of where you event sits in relation to a key carbon measurement area.

Time for data-gathering should also ideally be factored into your overall event project plan.

Finally, don’t forget to use internal comms to shout out about your event carbon measurement journey, and get buy-in from teams at all levels of your business.

TRACE by isla

TRACE by isla is the definitive carbon measurement tool for sustainable events and can help your business measure, manage and minimise carbon at live, hybrid and digital events.
Book a free demo with one of our platform experts, and start your event carbon measurement journey today.